Yesterday, I went to visit my parents for the afternoon. As I was leaving, the weather turned. About 1/2 a mile from their house, the hail and torrential rain started. I pulled off (I was still within their neighborhood) and called Mom to let her know that I was stopped (safely) and that I wasn't driving until I could see again.
When I thought it was safe again, I pulled out onto the highway. Turns out, it wasn't as safe as I'd thought. Not only was the rain really bad and visibility really poor, but the water was a little over the road in some places. By then, it was completely dark.
But, I couldn't pull over at that point. I was on a highway and wasn't in the best place to stop on the side of the road. So, I ended up following (very slowly) a pickup truck. He was following an 18-wheeler. I decided that, although it still wasn't perfectly safe, I was better off following them, because the 18-wheeler probably had better visibility (and experience) than I had.
We all had our flashers on. This was good, because it was dark, and it made it easier for other cars to see us. At one point, I don't think we were in our lane; I couldn't see the line anymore. But, I was right behind the pickup. If we went off the road, we'd both be off the road, I guess.
I followed that pickup truck until the first gas station I came to (about 20 or so miles away - the area where my parents live doesn't have a lot of development around it). At that point, I pulled in, called my parents again, told them that I couldn't drive anymore for a while because I was shaking so badly and because I couldn't see the road and that I was waiting a few minutes to see if the rain slowed a bit.
It finally got to the point that I felt that I could drive again. By then, I wanted to be home.
It took about 2 hours or more for me to calm down when I got home. I was shaking uncontrollably for quite a while. About an hour after I got home, I started crying. I guess it took that long for the shock to wear off.
I will never ever drive in that kind of weather again. I didn't know it was coming, but I'm going to watch the news before I start out somewhere next time. It's absolutely a miracle that I got home safely. Literally a miracle. God was there with me.
But, I think there was an angel there, too. The person in the pickup may not have known I was following him. But, I kinda think he must have. When he slowed, I slowed. When he changed lanes, I changed lanes. Always with enough space between us that I wasn't on his tail or trying to make things dangerous for him.
I can't actually do this, so I want to do it here. Maybe, somehow, there will be a blessing on this person even if I can't say it to him in person....
But Mr. Pickup Driver, it was because of you that I was able to drive in that wind, rain and those horrible conditions. You led me and allowed me to follow you. You kept me going when I just wanted to pull over and give up. You kept your flashers on, so I could always see you and know that everything was ok ahead of me. I didn't want to lose sight of you, because you were keeping me going. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did last night. If I could, I'd give you the biggest hug possible.